The Spoliation of Evidence as a Plaintiff’s Strategy in Trucking Accidents


One of the main objectives that we have with regards to maintaining this blog is to educate our readers and site visitors about legal issues, practices, and strategies. We feel that an informed client is the best kind and we want to provide these resources. That is why we are so pleased to announce an excellent, informative article that Clay Dugas and Reggie Blakeley wrote recently on spoliation and how invaluable it can be as legal strategy against a negligent employer of a truck driver involved in an accident.


Spoliation is defined in a legal context as intentionally destroying, mutilating, altering, or concealing evidence that is unfavorable to the legal party responsible. Thus spoliation is a very serious offense in a trial and proving that it took place can significantly impact the outcome of the trial. While this may seem like a very straightforward and common legal argument, the way that Clay and Reggie argue it in the article is truly original and extremely clever.


The article starts out by setting the stage of an attorney prosecuting a trucking company whose employee recklessly caused an accident to the plaintiff. The accident was extremely damaging and the defense further added insult to injury by subjecting the client to a long, rigorous interview that pried into personal matters. The employer also acknowledges his awareness and understanding of FMCSR regulation and standards that require drug testing after an accident. This proves to be a back-breaker for the defense because not administering a drug test post wreck shows negligence on their behalf.

Clay and Reggie point out in the article that this provides the perfect opportunity to argue spoliation by negligence. This is a less common strategy because the spoliation of evidence was not an active damaging or destroying of evidence, but rather an inaction that led to a failure to create important evidence. However, the strategy still holds up well because a case can be made that this intentionally prejudiced the prosecutor’s case and that the employer was well aware of his responsibility to gather the evidence.

The article is very clear and is written in a way that should be easy for most readers, even those without a legal background, to understand. Ultimately advanced legal strategies such as these are the attorney’s responsibility, and indeed the article is written addressing other attorneys in The Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America®.


While we hope that this summary has proven helpful there is still quite a bit that we did not discuss in this post. Thus, for more information about this highly effective and fascinating legal strategy we encourage you to check out the article in its entirety. We hope that you enjoy it and find it thought provoking and rest assured that we will continue delivering educational, informative content to you.

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